Last week I started a series of posts on stress, and below I have included an article that gives a very good overview of the impact of stress on our modern world. It also includes a few “calming techniques”, but I will return to this in the future.
The Stress Epidemic
The statistics are truly shocking…
- Over 19 million Americans are currently suffering from stress and anxiety related disorders.
- Up to 75% of people in employment are dissatisfied or unhappy with their jobs.
- Stress related accidents are increasing year on year.
- Stress levels have increased substantially in children, teenagers and the elderly.
- The majority of people that are suffering from such stress disorders refuse to seek medical help.
- Stress is now considered to be a key factor in health complaints such as stomach disorders, certain cancers and heart condition.
Stress is not simply a problem, or even an epidemic; sadly it has now actually become a way of life for the majority of people!
WHY ARE WE BECOMING MORE STRESSED?
As the statistics above demonstrate, the biggest group affected by ‘stress’ appears to be those in employment. This doesn’t suggest we would be better off not working, merely that working conditions are felt to have become more demanding in recent years.
In addition to those in the workplace, children and teenagers are also becoming more prone to anxiety, perhaps due to ‘peer pressure’.
The aged too are increasingly becoming concerned, they are living longer, may have financial worries and many fear for their safety.
Modern life has become very demanding. Mobile phones mean that we are almost always contactable; leisure time has become reduced for many, replaced by longer working hours and health risks have increased with a rise in cancers and ‘new conditions’ constantly being discovered.
IS ANYONE SAFE FROM STRESS?
All of us will experience situations that may cause us to become ‘stressed’ or feel ‘anxious’.
Reasons are too many to note but can include, buying a property, having guests stay over (in-laws!), being bullied, exams, looking after children, managing finances, relationship issues, travelling etc.
Stress is a ‘normal’ function of everyday life. Only when it appears to take over our lives does it then become a problem.
WHY DO WE BECOME STRESSED?
Everyone will have different reasons why a situation causes them pressure. As a rule it’s usually when we don’t feel in control of a situation, then we feel it’s grip tightening around us causing us to feel worried or ‘stressed’.
SO WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
If stress is caused by us not ‘feeling in control’ of a situation, the answer is to try and reverse this, and ‘retain control’.
If you’re not happy at work, for whatever reasons, speak with your boss and try to work out a solution that would make you feel more comfortable.
If you don’t get on particularly well with someone you know (partner, family, friends), rather than bottling it all up inside – talk to them about it. You’ll either strengthen your relationship or not but either way the problem will be out of your system.
If you know you have an exam or deadline looming, don’t wait until the night before to try and get everything done as this just puts undue pressure on yourself.
Examples of stressful situations are endless and I’m sure we can all think of many that affect us personally. Often we spend too much time looking for answers instead of simply analysing the cause.
Write down all the areas in your life that currently cause you to feel stressed.
- How much is your attitude responsible rather than external factors?
- What could you do differently to change this?
- How would you like these situations to be?
- How do you feel this can be achieved?
Try and keep your answers realistic and recognise that every problem has a solution.
- Experiencing a stressful situation is not uncommon.
- Stress is a warning and should be taken seriously.
- Look at what may be causing you to feel this way (Is it you or the situation, perhaps both)
- Communicate – talking or writing about your issues may help ‘get things off your chest’
- Finding the solution to our stress can often seem easier ‘said than done’ but there is a solution out there, don’t be afraid to look for it.
Don’t become another ‘stress statistic’, retain control over your life and enjoy it.
P.S. I’ve developed a TOOLKIT called “How To Find Happiness”. It comes complete with many ‘Stress Busting’ exercises & techniques, guides to Time and Anger Management plus lots more. A must for anyone interested in managing their stress & gaining a new perspective on life!
Check out ===> http://www.howto-findhappiness.com
photo by nate steiner on flickr